Review: Bad Teacher

If the title of Jake Kasdan's Bad Teacher calls to mind Bad Santa, the resonance is deliberate: Here is a comedy full of inappropriate humor about someone filling a familiar role who couldn't be further from the figure of benevolent authority we expect.

In this case, it's Cameron Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey, a middle-school teacher who doesn't bother to learn her kids names and spends class time showing them movies about teachers (Stand and Deliver, Lean on Me) and guzzling from airline-size bottles of liquor she keeps hidden in a false bottom of a desk drawer.

The result is a movie which, while never producing the kind of uproarious guffaws of Terry Zwigoff's Bad Santa (we were so innocent back in 2003), still offers a regular diet of laughs. There are lags and problematic pacing. But Diaz has the sass and confidence to make the character funny, even when the material is inconsistent. Read More...


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